If things aren't going my way, it feels better when it's not my fault. Having someone or something to blame is comforting. Or so it seems. We trick ourselves into thinking this, don't we?
Yeah, I acted a fool but it wasn't my fault. Someone else started it. Why didn't I finish that project? Oh, you know, it wasn't working out. I'm just not good at finishing things. Everyone is always hating on me, and that's why I'm not successful. No one ever listens to me.
The problem with this thinking is that, it doesn't help us to learn how to approach our problems more creatively. More spiritually, really. We want to point the finger outward, but really we can only blame the craftiness of our own egos. Think of your 'ego' as a concept similar to your 'inner critic' - always judging, always defensive and wanting acknowledgment. We all have this push and pull going on inside. But do you recognize it? Let's consider a few examples, shall we?
Fighting Unnecessary Battles.
You don't have to entertain all the petty arguments that come your way. But sometimes our egos won't allow us to let things go. We don't want anyone to think that they got over on us. But that's exactly what we're doing when we let people push our buttons.
When you give up on something because it's not coming easily to you, that's your ego telling you that you can't do it and that they're all gonna laugh at you. I've gotten stage fright with this writing and blogging thing many times and almost quit. But if you want it bad enough, you can use this fear to fuel your passion.
We tell lies to cover up embarrassing, uncomfortable things or maybe to make ourselves seem 'better' than someone else. It's false comfort. It's the ego's specialty.
Deepak Chopra said “If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up.”
You probably know all of this already, right? But your ego is not going to get up and go away just because you tell it to. And why should it? It's part of you and in a warped, dysfunctional way - it's just trying to protect you. If you can see this, then you can translate its messages more productively. Eckhart Tolle teaches that self-esteem and humility are not contradictory - they are one in the same.
That's one to soak in for awhile, right? Let it marinate.
It takes time but if you always choose to view things in a spiritual and mindful way, instead of overthinking and listening to your ego's rants and raves, you'll get good at it eventually. Soon, it will come naturally to hold only yourself responsible for your inner peace at any given moment.